Coal Tattoo

Alpha Natural Resources to buy Massey

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Here’s the press release:

ABINGDON, Va. & RICHMOND, Va. — Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (NYSE: ANR) (“Alpha”) and Massey Energy Company (NYSE: MEE) (“Massey”) announced today that they signed a definitive agreement under which Alpha will acquire all outstanding shares of Massey common stock, subject to customary closing conditions including stockholder approval of both companies. Under the terms of the agreement, Massey stockholders will receive, at the closing, 1.025 shares of Alpha common stock and $10.00 in cash for each share of Massey common stock. Based on the closing share price of Alpha common stock as of January 28, 2011, the agreement placed a value of $69.33 per share of Massey common stock (implying $8.5 billion enterprise value for Massey) and represents a 21% premium to Massey’s current share price. Upon completion of the transaction, Alpha and Massey stockholders will own approximately 54% and 46% of the combined company, respectively.

“We’re very pleased that Massey has chosen to join forces with Alpha and commit to this truly transformational deal”

The merger will bring together Alpha’s and Massey’s highly complementary assets, which include more than 110 mines and combined coal reserves of approximately 5 billion tons, including one of the world’s largest and highest-quality metallurgical coal reserve bases. Alpha and Massey believe the new entity will be well positioned to capitalize on strong global demand trends for coal including the metallurgical coal used in the steel manufacturing process. Further, the combination is expected to permit Alpha and Massey to benefit from geographical and asset diversification, including operations and reserves in Central and Northern Appalachia, the Illinois Basin and the Powder River Basin in Wyoming.

The resulting company will have an attractive financial profile with expected pro forma 2010 revenues of approximately $6.9 billion and the highest free cash flow generation of any pure-play U.S. coal company, a responsible balance sheet, and significantly enhanced scale with a combined enterprise value of approximately $15 billion. Stockholders and customers of both companies will also benefit from synergies which are expected to exceed an annual run-rate of $150 million within the second year of operations, as well as anticipated cash flow accretion in the first full year of combined operations.

“We’re very pleased that Massey has chosen to join forces with Alpha and commit to this truly transformational deal,” said Kevin Crutchfield, Alpha’s chief executive officer. “Together we will be America’s largest supplier of metallurgical coal for the world’s steel industry and a highly diversified supplier of thermal coal to electric utilities in the U.S. and overseas. The strategic and operational fit of our two companies is clear and compelling. Both companies’ stockholders will gain an opportunity to participate in the upside potential of a global industry leader with a robust production portfolio, attractive growth profile and substantial reserve base. Together, we are committed to creating a stronger company that has the scale to capitalize on further growth opportunities, succeed in a changing regulatory landscape and maintain the absolute highest standards in safety and environmental excellence.”

Baxter F. Phillips, Jr., Massey’s chief executive officer and president, stated, “This transaction represents a tremendous opportunity for Massey to partner with our Central Appalachian neighbor, Alpha, to create a new industry leader. After a careful review of a wide range of strategic opportunities, our board unanimously determined that this is the right course for our company. The merger with Alpha offers Massey stockholders an immediate and substantial premium, as well as the opportunity to participate in the significant value creation opportunities our combination presents. We have always respected Alpha’s passion for this business and we believe this is a natural and logical combination that has great upside for our members, communities, customers and other important constituents.”

Mr. Crutchfield added, “As we demonstrated in the Foundation transaction, we have a proven history of successful integrations since our inception in 2002, and we’ve built a strong track record of creating value through thoughtful strategic growth. We’re already prepared to launch a seamless integration process, which includes implementing our employee-driven Running Right philosophy of safety and environmental stewardship across the business. This is not just a combination of strong asset portfolios, but a transaction that will empower a combined group of almost 14,000 people and with a focus on continued investment in safety, the environment and our communities.”

Alpha’s chairman, Mike Quillen, commented, “We’ve always believed that the combination of Alpha and Massey makes for a great partnership, and we’re thrilled about the opportunities this will create for the employees of both organizations. Their talents, skills and ambition will be the foundation of a dynamic industry leader.”

The boards of directors of Alpha and Massey have each approved the terms of the definitive merger agreement and have recommended that their respective stockholders approve the transaction. The transaction is expected to close in mid-2011 and is subject to approval by each company’s stockholders and customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions.

Alpha has obtained $3.3 billion in committed financing from Morgan Stanley and Citi which, in addition to existing cash balances, will be sufficient to finance cash consideration to Massey stockholders and to refinance certain existing Alpha and Massey debt.